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Labor guilty of hypocrisy over radioactive waste.



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18 May 2000            00/168  

LABOR GUILTY OF HYPOCRISY OVER RADIOACTIVE WASTE  ALP Senator Nick Bolkus is being a complete hypocrite in criticising the Federal Government's proposal for a central store for intermediate level waste, the Minister for Industry, Science and Resources, Senator Nick Minchin said today.

"Senator Bolkus has conveniently forgotten about the ALP's involvement in supporting the storage of radioactive waste in South Australia," Senator Minchin said.

In 1992, it was the Federal Labor Government, and the Federal Primary Industries Minister, Simon Crean, who decided Australia needed a central repository for low level waste

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In 1994, the Federal Labor Government shortlisted the central north of South Australia as one of the possible sites for the repository ●

In 1994, the Federal Labor Government moved 2,000 cubic metres of low level waste to Woomera without any public consultation ●

In 1995, the Federal Labor Government moved 35 cubic metres of intermediate level waste to Woomera without any public consultation ●

In August 1999, the parliamentary Public Works Committee, including Labor Party members, unanimously recommended that a new research reactor be built at Lucas Heights and further recommended that:-

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Removal of all radioactive waste from Lucas Heights for disposal or storage at a National Repository must be a high priority and is dependent on the timely provision of the Repository and Store. [Recommendation 4.145] On 19 November 1999, Federal Labor Party's Resources Spokesman and South

Australian MP, Mr Martyn Evans was reported in The Advertiser as follows: ●

Opposition resources spokesman Martyn Evans said he agreed with dumping the medium-level waste in SA if it met geological and scientific requirements and the public were consulted.

"It has to go somewhere and just because it's in South Australia we can't have a 'not in my backyard' view," he said.

"Compared to the ALP, who brought radioactive waste into South Australia without consultation, we have been open and transparent about our policy," Senator Minchin said.

"And as for Senator Bolkus' claim that I want to bring overseas high level waste into South Australia, this is completely false. I have made several statements in the Parliament, in the media and to Pangea themselves that this Government refuses to accept any radioactive waste from overseas." 

Contact:   Steve Ronson, Senator Minchin's office, 08 8237 7190. CMR216-00

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